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Saint Luke’s Mid-America Heart Institute studying effects of COVID-19 on heart patients

Saint Luke’s Mid-America Heart Institute in Kansas City this week will begin collaborating on a study to determine the effects of COVID-19 on patients with pre-existing heart conditions.

George Clinical, whose U.S. headquarters is in Kansas City, is exploring whether dapagliflozin (an SGLT inhibitor) can prevent disease progression in patients hospitalized with COVID-19 and at high risk for complications from pre-existing cardio metabolic risk factors. The study will include 900 patients globally, with approximately half of those coming from the United States and the remainder from other countries with high prevalence of COVID-19.

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Mikhail Kosiborod, MD, a cardiologist the institute and vice president of research at Saint Luke’s Health System, is principal investigator of the study referred to as DARE-19. Since patients with pre-existing health conditions are at greater risk for moderate to severe complications from SARS-CoV-2 infection, studies that evaluate potential protective measures are critical for both individual and public health outcomes during a time of pandemic.

“The start-up of this study took less than three weeks, which is amazing for an international project of this magnitude,” said Sean Hart, George Clinical chief business officer. “We were able to break down barriers showing strong global support and the kind of nimble mentality we all need to successfully manage research during this pandemic.”

This study targets countries with the current highest level of COVID-19 load on their health-care systems. Study enrollment has begun in the Kansas City metropolitan area at Saint Luke’s Hospital of Kansas City and other multiple other hospitals around the nation.

The partnership between Saint Luke’s and George Clinical, along with a key pharmaceutical industry partner, uses cutting-edge technology which accomplishes investigator training, study initiation virtually and remote monitoring techniques. George Clinical scientific leadership, operational infrastructure and data science teams are actively advising stakeholders on numerous potential COVID-19 vaccine and treatment studies.